TDAS 13.0 (including SPEDAS framework version 5.0)

THEMIS data can be accessed using TDAS: the THEMIS Data Analysis Software. The current release is TDAS 13.0.

This release also includes version 5.0 of the SPEDAS framework, which is now required to run TDAS. SPEDAS stands for "Space Physics Environment Data Analysis Software". There is a blog and a wiki on the SPEDAS software.

SPEDAS is a general-purpose software framework and Graphical User Interface (GUI), which were formerly components of TDAS, but which we now consider a separate software product. TDAS now denotes only the THEMIS-specific components, that now exist as a plugin to SPEDAS. SPEDAS includes code adapted from NASA's CDAweb and can download data from dozens of NASA space missions.

Read more about the relationship between TDAS and SPEDAS.

TDAS+SPEDAS is a Data Analysis Software Suite. It consists of IDL routines which read data in CDF format, as well as other less refined data sets. IDL routines can be used to download, open, analyze, and plot scientific data. For THEMIS, it can download Level 1 (L1) and Level 2 (L2) data quantities and also transform L1 data into L2 data. L1 data is raw, uncalibrated data in CDF format. L2 data is calibrated in physical units. These IDL routines were derived from those used by the Cluster, Wind, Polar, and FAST missions. In addition to command line invoked IDL routines, the software provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for opening, analyzing, and plotting data. This interface was designed to facilitate use of the most useful IDL routines.

TDAS Downloads (TDAS version 13.0, SPEDAS version 5.0, April 2022)

Which distribution should I download?

If you already have IDL installed and licensed, the "Source Code" distribution is the best choice. It is the only way to obtain full access to the complete set of command line utilities; the "Save File" and "Executable File" releases only operate via the GUI, but they can be used without having to pay for an IDL license.

For the most common platforms (64-bit Windows, 64-bit MacOs, 64-bit Linux), we have built standalone executables (with the IDL Virtual Machine environment included).

For Linux, we also offer a choice of which GEOPACK library is bundled with the executable files. We recommend Geopack 10.7 if your system supports it; however, it requires a relatively recent version (2.14 or later) of the glibc library. For older systems, we also offer Linux builds with GEOPACK 7.6, which has a reduced feature set, but is more backward compatible.

The GEOPACK code is distributed with permission of Dr. Haje Korth, who developed the IDL interface to the original FORTRAN library by N.A. Tsyganenko. For more information, please visit or email .

For other platforms (for example, Solaris, or anything 32-bit), we offer a "Save File only" release, but without bundling it with the IDL Virtual Machine Runtime. You will need to register at and download the full IDL runtime for them; this download will include the IDL Virtual Machine software which can be used to run SPEDAS without needing to purchase an IDL license. As with the "Executable file" distribution, this distribution only works with the GUI, and the command line features are not available.


What software is included with these download bundles?

Each of these download options includes: version 4.1 of the SPEDAS framework; TDAS version 12.1, which is now a plugin to SPEDAS; the UDAS plugin for the IUGONET project; the ERG plugin; and the "Load Data from CDAWeb" GUI tool, which supports most missions in the CDAWeb data archive.


  1. Source code (SPEDAS 5.0, April 2022). Download TDAS 13.0 + SPEDAS 5.0 source (~50 MB). This is a zip file with all the TDAS and SPEDAS IDL source code. To use it you need to have IDL installed. This is the only distribution that provides full access to the command line tools. If you have used TDAS in the past, this is probably the option you should use.

  2. Save file (SPEDAS 5.0, April 2022). Download the TDAS 13.0 + SPEDAS 5.0 savefile (~40 MB). This is suitable for users without an IDL license. It requires the IDL Virtual Machine (VM) which has to be downloaded for free from NV5. There are limitations using the VM compared to the full IDL. This distribution only provides access to the GUI, and not the command line tools.

  3. Executable files (SPEDAS 5.0, April 2022). These zip files contain executable files that can be run directly without installing anything else. They include a Virtual Machine (VM) version of IDL and they open the SPEDAS GUI but they do not include a command line tool, nor the TDAS or SPEDAS IDL source code. They also include Geopack.

    IDL 8.5.1

The Enhancement Lists for TDAS 13.0 + SPEDAS Version 5.0 can be found here.


Installation on a Mac

Newer Mac OS X versions do not include the X11 libraries. XQuartz (X11) has to be downloaded and installed, or IDL will not work.

To install XQuartz, see:


TDAS and SPEDAS Documentation

HTML documentation with full list of functions and source code.

Online documentation can also be found in the SPEDAS wiki.


Future Releases

  1. You can receive emails notifying you of New Software Releases by registering on the THEMIS Science Support Distribution List. (Click to register by e-mail)
  2. You can also download nightly builds of not yet released future versions of TDAS and SPEDAS. Please Note this software may not yet be fully tested and is not supported by the THEMIS Science Support Team.


IDL Geopack DLM

To use the Tsyganenko Model extensions with the TDAS and SPEDAS software, you need to download and install Tsyganenko's IDL code. Installation instructions can be found in the download page, but basically you have to install two files: a .dlm file and either a .so file (Linux, Mac) or a .dll file (Windows).


Other useful IDL DLM libraries: CDF, SPICE, DAS2c

To download and install other useful DLM libraries, please see: IDL Libraries



There an ongoing effort to develop software similar to SPEDAS in the python programming language. For a beta version of this software, see: pyspedas

PySPEDAS documentation is available at


Contact the developers

For comments, observations, problems or questions about data access, software or web site content, please contact the Themis Science Support Team.